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Interview with Irina Lositskaya

The first person the donor interacts with is the nurse. Not only professionalism is very important, but also personal involvement. Laureate of the All-Russian competition of professional skills Irina Lositskaya, operating room nurse, chief nurse of the Blood Center of the FMBA of Russia, told how to combine these qualities, what depends on it and why ethics issues have become so relevant in the age of high technology.

What does victory in the All-Russian Competition of Professional Skills of the Blood Service and the recognition of colleagues mean to you?

Winning the Competition is not only the result of many years of work in the Blood Center of the FMBA of Russia, confirming that I am on the right track and have chosen the right direction of professional activity. This is a new starting point for future achievements, both for me and for the institution as a whole.

What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

I have been working in the blood service since 2007. During my medical career, I have mastered all the techniques from blood exfusion to hardware plateletpheresis and pathogen inactivation. I work both in the Blood Center and in field conditions. But, in addition to the ability to competently conduct the technical part of the process, I consider even the most important ability to find a common language with a donor. After all, the donation process depends on our professionalism, our smile and participation. My attitude, ability to calm make the donation procedure easy and safe for the donor. It determines the mood and well-being of a person and influences, whether he comes again, shares positive experience, and attracts relatives colleagues or friends to donation.

I am in a leadership position recently, but I can see the results of my work - the continuous, brilliant work of the laboratory teams, the blood collection department. After all, my area of ​​responsibility includes not only the management of medical personnel, but also timely requests for the supply of consumables, rotation of personnel during a period of high incidence, holidays, as well as maintaining the health of my colleagues, both physical and mental.

You are in charge of the paramedical staff of the Blood Center of the FMBA of Russia. Tell us about your job, how your work day is going.

Even though my working day starts at 8:30 am, I try to arrive early to chat with my colleagues. At such moments, you can find out what issues are bothering the team, and it is also an easy way to establish personal contact. I work with donors or, if necessary, with administrative issues. After the end of the donor reception, I pay special attention to young professionals, introducing them to the technological processes of the blood service. I prepare up-to-date lecture materials, taking into account the wishes of colleagues and changes in the regulatory framework. Daily duties include monitoring the sanitary and epidemiological condition of all medical locations. In addition, weekly "five minutes" with employees allow me to keep the work environment under control.

Your work takes place both in static and field conditions. Tell us about the features of adaptation when changing a working location? What helps you feel comfortable?

In fact, in field conditions we do the same work as in the hospital. The only difference is the location. The difficulty can be with arrangement of consumables, for example, test tubes, bandages are not where they are used to. The newcomers can get confused. This can only be solved by regular work in tandem with a field team, when the specifics of their work are adopted, and you are on the same wavelength with your colleagues. I am convinced that in our profession, where communication with people is inevitable, it is necessary to have the ability to establish contact, understand a person, his character. A sensitive attitude towards colleagues is the key to a healthy atmosphere in the team.

You help young professionals get used to a new job. What does it mean to you?

Mentoring is a hard work! I convey interest and love for the profession, infect with their desire for self-improvement and knowledge. It is an opportunity to develop for me. Sometimes our young specialists ask questions about technical processes or work with donors that I had not even thought about before. Thus, in the process of learning and interacting with a mentor, a young specialist gains the necessary experience, learns all the nuances of the profession, and the mentor receives food for thought, the opportunity to improve his professionalism.

You provide training for employees. Tell us about.

I am pretty tenacious person and always focused on results. I try to understand each of the many processes that accompany our regular work. For example, why does a vein «collapse», what leads to this and how to avoid it, based on human physiology. Since 2019, I have been the author and speaker of internal training for nurses at the Blood Center of the FMBA of Russia. I build many of my lectures not only on generally accepted principles in the field of medical practice, but also on personal experience. So, the last few classes were devoted to human physiology — «Hemostasis» and «Emergencies». At the same time, during lecture events, I try to involve my colleagues in the learning process as much as possible, somewhere I have to use humor. Many topics that are not so interesting and voluminous can be discussed at meetings, for example, issues of sanitary maintenance of premises or hand hygiene.

A significant of educational cluster is related to the ethical issues of profession. Even the course «Ethics of „medical selfies“» appeared. Why are these questions and topics so relevant?

These questions are not just relevant, they are acute! Almost all of us are active users of gadgets. It is clear that everyone has the right and sometimes should stay in touch, but it is important to understand that in a working atmosphere, Blood Center employees should use mobile phones in exceptional cases. This, firstly, concerns the safety of donors, whose stay in the institution requires increased attention, and secondly, compliance with ethical standards.

As for ethical issues in general, in my opinion, we live in a time when cleaners with cries «don’t go where washed», and nurses with cynical «don’t cry, be patient» belong to the past. A nurse is a humane profession that a priori rejects cynicism in relation to a person. Yes — we are not service personnel, but treating a person with maximum respect and participation is our direct responsibility. Therefore, the topic of ethics, in my opinion, is so important.

How did you become a donor yourself? Tell us your donor story.

Surprisingly, the first time I donated blood was in 2014, after 7 years of work in the blood service. It was not scary, but exciting, because for the first time you never know how the body might react. There was no doubt about the professionalism of the medical staff - everything went great. Now I do not donate as often as I want because of busy schedule and production tasks set for me by the management. But I never refuse colleagues in case of emergency requests from medical organizations.

And our traditional question: what would you wish donors and those who are going to join the donor program?

I address my wish not only to our regular, but also to primary donors. Be sure in your decision and don't be afraid. Do not forget about donor diet, as the further fate of your blood components may depend on it!

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